Pastor of Catholic Community of Pleasanton dies after cancer battle

Services for Fr. Paul Minnihan set for next week at St. Augustine

Rev. Paul D. Minnihan, pastor of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton for the past six years, died on Sunday after a recent battle with aggressive cancer. He was 52.

The local Catholic community is set to honor Minnihan, whose service in Pleasanton included an earlier assignment as associate pastor, with funeral rites scheduled for next week.

"Fr. Paul engaged with the city of Pleasanton and the broader Tri-Valley community supporting many programs such as the Pleasanton Unified School District ESL program, AA & Al-Anon, fair housing, Kids Against Hunger and numerous others, using the church to give the community the opportunity to grow in service," said Rev. Kwame Assenyoh, associate pastor.

Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne added, "Fr. Paul was a great comfort to me and my family upon the death of my wife Sandi last year. He was an asset to his community and a great leader of the Catholic Community Of Pleasanton."

Ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Oakland in 1993, Minnihan's first assignment after additional graduate studies was with CCOP as parochial vicar in 1994.

After other educational and pastoral experience, the Bishop of Oakland selected Minnihan to serve as first provost in 2006 for the yet-to-be-built Oakland Cathedral of Christ the Light, as well as to serve as the bishop of Oakland's master of ceremonies. As provost, he sat on the diocesan cathedral design team, held oversight of month-long dedication events and served as chief spokesman for the bishop.

Later, he was named as director of worship for the Diocese of Oakland in 2010.

In March 2013, Minnihan returned to Pleasanton, where his priestly journey began nearly two decades earlier, with new appointment as pastor of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, which includes St. Augustine and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton churches. He held the position until his death on Sunday afternoon after a brief battle with aggressive cancer.

Minnihan's other ministry experience include prior service in Oakland, Moraga and El Cerrito. He also previously served on Priest Councils for the Diocese of Oakland and was California State Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus.

Minnihan is survived by his parents, Charlie and Marie Minnihan, his sister Jeanne Kierst and numerous cousins.

Funeral rites for Minnihan have been scheduled to begin next Thursday (March 7) with a vigil at 7:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church at 3999 Bernal Ave. A funeral mass will take place next Friday (March 8) at 10:30 a.m. at St. Augustine, with a reception to follow in the parish hall. Committal will be held in private on Friday.

For more information on the upcoming services, visit the CCOP website at

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13 people like this
Posted by Kerrie
a resident of Dublin
on Feb 28, 2019 at 10:21 am

Rest in Peace Fr. Paul. Your homilies were spot-on. Thank you for caring about our CCOP.

11 people like this
Posted by OLD TIMER
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 28, 2019 at 10:26 am

I've been a member of CCOP for 57 years, and so have seen a lot of pastors. Paul has been a wonderful guide, teacher, and friend. As noted above he especially took on outreach issues. One grandson is working on his Eagle Scout program at CCOP, and has received lots of encouragement from Fr. Paul.

I will miss him a lot, but he and Fr. Dan Danielson must be having a grand time catching up on stories. God bless them both!

7 people like this
Posted by Marcia
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2019 at 1:12 pm

So very sorry to hear about both Fr. Paul and Fr. Dan. Their homilies were always amazing and worth reflection. RIP to both. You finally know full truth.

2 people like this
Posted by Since 1972
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 2, 2019 at 2:10 pm

A great person. So inspirational, and amazing speaker. Blessed to have known him.

3 people like this
Posted by Marjean Sutton
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Father Paul was a long time friend to my son. I personally had the pleasure of meeting Father Paul on many occasions he was a truly inspiring man. For many years he would always remember my birthday and send well wishes. I hope he is at peace and knows how much he has ment to so many people.

Like this comment
Posted by Nathan Patrick Knight+
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:55 pm

Father Paul Minnihan,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum. I wish somebody had notified me of your funeral. I am truly shocked. I cannot understand why somebody didn't heal you. Shocking! I know there is another saint in Biblical Heaven.I pray for your canonization. Please pray for prolife laws, Saint Paul. Jesus, please give Father Paul Grace to work many miracles from Heaven. Teaching someone how to love God and others is the greatest gift you can give anyone. I pray for a Roman Catholic Theocracy. This planet needs God more than ever. These are very serious times indeed.

In Christ's Infinite Love,

your friend Nathan Knight

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